Seven Russian weightlifters have been banned from competing at the Rio Olympics, it was announced on Friday.
The Independent Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board reached the decision to ban the athletes after carefully considering findings from World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Independent Person (IP) report by professor Richard McLaren.
Eight Russian athletes had been nominated by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to compete at Rio in the weightlifting events.
The IOC issued the following statement on the matter:
Under these exceptional circumstances, Russian athletes in any of the 28 Olympic summer sports have to assume the consequences of what amounts to a collective responsibility in order to protect the credibility of the Olympic competitions, and the ‘presumption of innocence’ cannot be applied to them. On the other hand, according to the rules of natural justice, individual justice, to which every human being is entitled, has to be applied. This means that each affected athlete must be given the opportunity to rebut the applicability of collective responsibility in his or her individual case.
Further to the above, we would like to highlight the extremely shocking and disappointing statistics regarding the Russian weightlifters.
As of today [Friday] there are seven confirmed AAFs for Russian weightlifters from the combined reanalysis process of London and Beijing, while the second wave of Beijing reanalyses is not yet in a stage when the names and countries involved can be publicly disclosed.
The IOC asked the International Federations to ‘apply their respective rules in relation to the sanctioning of entire NFs’.
Article 12.4 of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Anti-Doping Policy reads, “If any Member Federation or members or officials thereof, by reason of conduct connected with or associated with doping or anti-doping rule violations, brings the sport of weightlifting into disrepute, the IWF Executive Board may, in its discretion, take such action as it deems fit to protect the reputation and integrity of the sport.”
The IWF Executive Board confirmed that the Russian Weightlifting Federation and Russian weightlifters brought the weightlifting sport into disrepute.
In the light of the above, the Executive Board decided to withdraw the appointment of the Russian Technical Official from the Rio2016 Olympic Games.
The integrity of the weightlifting sport has been seriously damaged on multiple times and levels by the Russians, therefore an appropriate sanction was applied in order to preserve the status of the sport.
– African News Agency (ANA)